By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
December 16, 2002 Catching up on commitments to ACC football programs from late November through mid-December: Kennesaw (GA) Harrison LB Jonathan Abbate, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Georgia, committed to Wake Forest over Alabama-Birmingham, Bowling Green, Georgia Southern, Miami-Ohio and Ohio. Clemson, Florida, Georgia, UNC (favorite), Penn State and many others also showed interest. As a senior, he had 168 tackles (19 for loss) for a 12-1 team that ranked as one of the best in Class 5A all season. Four of his teammates also have committed to major programs: LB Tim Cesa (Maryland), RB Jason Evans (Penn State), OL Scott Lenahan (UNC) and DB Paul Oliver (Georgia). A 2002 Wake Forest summer camper, Abbate runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds and bench presses 400 pounds. He has a 3.1 GPA and a 990 SAT score.
Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson QB Reggie Ball, rated one of the top 75 seniors in Georgia, opted for Georgia Tech over Central Florida, Duke and Louisville (no offer). Auburn (early offer), Clemson, LSU (early offer), Michigan, Michigan State (early offer), UNC and Virginia also showed interest at various stages of the recruiting process. As a senior, Ball threw for 1,950 yards and 19 touchdowns, with only two interceptions, for a 12-1 Class 5A team. As a junior, he threw for 1,260 yards and 14 TDs and ran for 653 yards and 13 TDs. He ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at a Nike Camp last summer. He has a 3.0 GPA and an 880 SAT score.
Williamsport (PA) High RB Darrell Blackman, rated one of the top 25 running backs in the nation, chose NCSU over Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh. He also had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Michigan State, Syracuse, Temple, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. A two-time first-team all-state selection, he had 2,467 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior, with 2,547 rushing yards and 32 TDs as a junior. Blackman, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, recently was one of 78 prep stars selected to participate in the Jan. 5 Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. With a 2.6 GPA and a 770 SAT score, he'll need to improve his academic credentials to qualify.
Williamsport (PA) High DE Raymond Brooks, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Pennsylvania, picked NCSU over Iowa, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia. He also had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Michigan State and Syracuse. As a junior, he had 783 rushing yards and eight TDs as a fullback on offense, with 94 tackles (including 12 sacks) as an end on defense. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and benches 280 pounds. With a 2.5 GPA and a 720 SAT score, he'll need to improve his academic credentials to qualify.
Clearwater (FL) High OL Louis Frazier, rated one of the top 250 seniors in Florida, picked Wake Forest over Air Force, Army, Harvard, Navy and Yale. Florida, FSU and Stanford also showed interest. As a senior, he had 70 pancake blocks and graded out at around 90 percent for a 5A team that won its district championship. He runs the 40-yard dash in 5.9 seconds and bench presses 350 pounds. He has a 3.6 GPA and an SAT score over 1,000.
Greer (SC) High WR/DB Sergio Gilliam, rated one of the top 25 seniors in South Carolina, picked Clemson over interest from USC, Tennessee and Wake Forest. As a senior, he had 21 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns, with another five TDs on returns. On defense, he had 42 tackles and eight interceptions. A Shrine Bowl selection, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. With a 2.8 GPA and a 770 SAT score, he'll need to improve his academic credentials to qualify.
Virginia Beach (VA) Salem WR Shannon Lane, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Virginia, chose Virginia over Boston College, Maryland, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee (favorite) also showed interest. Playing as a junior at Virginia Beach (VA) Princess Anne, where he was a teammate of linebacker Kai Parham (now at UVa), Lane had 15 receptions for 400 yards and seven TDs. As a senior at Salem, he had 54 catches for 909 yards and seven TDs. A cousin of Virginia Tech running back Cedric Humes, Lane runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He has a 2.7 GPA and a 930 SAT score.
Richmond (VA) Hermitage WR Fontel Mines, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Virginia, chose Virginia over Virginia Tech. He also had offers from Richmond and Wake Forest. Clemson, Michigan, UNC and Tennessee also showed interest. As a senior, he had 37 receptions for 708 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a junior, he had 29 receptions for 612 yards and 10 TDs. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and has a vertical jump of 28 inches.
Port Orange (FL) Spruce Creek DT Leshawn Newberry, rated one of the top 200 seniors in Florida, picked Georgia Tech over Duke and Vanderbilt. FSU, Miami and Syracuse also showed interest. His teammate, OL Garrick Clig, previously committed to Maryland. Newberry, who attended Tech's 2002 summer camp, is a three-year starter who had 75 tackles as a senior (for an 0-10 team) and 54 as a junior.
Clearwater (FL) Central Catholic DB LeRue Rumph, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Florida, opted for NCSU over Georgia and South Florida. He also had offers from Central Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Purdue and West Virginia. A cousin of former Miami star Mike Rumph, LeRue was a teammate of QB Jay Davis (now at NCSU) at Central Catholic in 2000. After missing most of his junior year with a broken leg, Rumph had surgery on the same leg after re-injuring it this fall, when he had 80 tackles and six interceptions. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. He has a 2.6 GPA and an 860 SAT score.
Miami (FL) Killian LB Stephen Tulloch, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Florida, chose NCSU over UNC, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. He also had offers from Boston College, Central Florida, Kentucky and South Florida. A four-year starter for a powerhouse program, he had 106 tackles as a senior and 132 tackles (including 12 sacks) as a junior. His brother David played defensive end at FSU while Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato was an assistant with the Seminoles. Stephen runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and benches 350 pounds. He has a 2.9 GPA and a 790 SAT score.
Snellville (GA) Brookwood DT Mansfield Wrotto, rated one of the top 50 seniors in Georgia, chose Georgia Tech over Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Penn State (runner-up), USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, UNC and others also showed interest. Wrotto, who transferred from Lilburn (GA) Berkmar after his sophomore year, bench presses 350 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. As a senior, he has 63 tackles and five sacks for a 12-1 team that's still alive in the Class 5A playoffs. He has a 3.6 GPA and a 1,200 SAT score.
Other Recent News And Notes
Fork Union (VA) Military DT Robert Armstrong, a 2002 Virginia signee out of Alexandria (VA) Washington & Lee, recently dropped out of school after qualifying academically. He de-committed from UVa, reportedly because the Cavaliers wouldn't allow him to enroll at mid-year, and is considering Maryland, Ohio State and perhaps others, with plans to enroll in January. Ö Former Belle Glade (FL) Glades Central DB Garland Heath, a 2002 N.C. State signee who failed to qualify academically, recently posted a qualifying test score and plans to enroll at NCSU in January.
Dave Glenn, the editor and football recruiting analyst for the ACC Area Sports Journal, has been covering football recruiting and the ACC since 1987.
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